Sherwood still aims to be among the top teams in the NWOC this season
by: DAN BROOD BACK INSIDE — Senior Jackie Long (left) should be a key returnee in the post for the Lady Bowmen.

SHERWOOD - Last year, the Sherwood High School girls basketball team boasted a veteran group of players that helped lead the Lady Bowmen to the Class 5A state tournament.

This year, Sherwood doesn't have the same strong group of veterans.

And, while it may take a little while for the Lady Bowmen to put things all together, they're still taking high hopes into the 2011-2012 season.

'This will be a 'learning' season for us,' Sherwood coach Liz Barrett said. 'We are incorporating a lot of new people into our system and are hoping to have it all in place by the time league starts.'

The Lady Bowmen lost many of its key players from last year's team, which went 19-7 on the year, to graduation.

Maybe the top returnee from last year's team, senior point guard Leanne Snyder (5-foot-8), who was a first-team All-Northwest Oregon Conference selection, suffered a serious knee injury over the summer. Sherwood is hoping to have her back by the end of January.

Still, the Lady Bowmen do look to have some talented returnees to build around.

Among them is junior guard Kyeli Hendryx (5-8), who was an honorable mention all-league pick last year.

Other returnees for Sherwood include senior guard Hailey Codling (5-8), senior post Jackie Long (6-1) and senior guard Kendall Birch (5-8).

'We have three returners who played solid minutes last year and we hope for them to have a great season,' Barrett said.

Among the newcomers to the Sherwood varsity this year are sophomore guard Morgan McSmith (5-8), sophomore post Jaelyn Funk (5-10), junior post Mikayla Doherty (5-9), junior post Christina Eckert (5-10) and junior guard Hannah Huntington (5-6). Freshman post Mallory Shields (5-11) could also see varsity minutes.

'We hope to be a very balanced team this year,' Barrett said. 'Our goal is for our defense to be the strength this year. But we have a lot of holes to fill with regards to scoring and leadership.'

As for the NWOC this year, Barrett sees a competitive battle ahead for the top spots.

'Our league will be pretty evenly matched,' she said. 'And we hope to find ourselves near the top.'

On Tuesday, Sherwood fell 55-33 to The Dalles-Wahtonka in a first-round game at the Nike Interstate Shootout being held at Lakeridge High School.

The Lady Bowmen were scheduled to face Lakeridge in a tournament game on Wednesday.

Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press.

Sherwood will play in tourney games both today (Thursday) and Friday.

The Lady Bowmen will also be in action Tuesday when they play at Southridge in a non-league game starting a 7:15 p.m.

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